While the amounts are cloudy, over 300 schoolboys are missing following an assault on a boys’ school in northwest Nigeria almost a week back. A big number of people riding motorbikes ambushed the kids at the college.
It’s a reminder of the brutal kidnapping of 276 women from Chibok in 2014 by terror category Boko Haram. Over 100 of these women never returned home.
On Tuesday audio message surfaced claiming responsibility for the kidnapping, supposedly from Abubakar Shekau, the chief of a faction of terror band Boko Haram.
Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari told CNN that officials have yet to find any concrete proof that the boys had been shot by the team.
But when the claim is accurate, it’s a deeply troubling shift of the sway of Boko Haram. For decades, many factions of this group have murdered thousands of civilians and displaced countless in their own stronghold hundreds of kilometers apart in northeast Nigeria.
Did mission accomplish?
Almost exactly five decades ago, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari maintained the authorities had”technically conquered” Boko Haram.
Whilst obviously politically motivated, there was a truth to his contentious announcement at that moment.
From the months before the military, with global support and crucial operational participation from a coalition of regional nations, pushed Boko Haram from a massive swath of land that the insurgents commanded in Borno State in the boundary areas.
In March of 2015, Boko Haram vowed allegiance to ISIS fundamental in Syria and Iraq. Regardless of the clear ideological common ground between the two extremist groups, it had been widely regarded as a movement made from despair as they were hammered on the floor.
Pledging fealty into ISIS-led into a leadership battle and fracture, together with Boko Haram dividing into two distinct classes. One was directed by Shekau and another calling itself Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP).
The reduction of land and infighting considerably reduced the danger of open battle, and the army freed countless kidnapped women and girls since they regained control.
Boko Haram subsequently altered even more to brutally unconventional approaches like suicide strikes, occasionally completed by kidnapped women.
But despite having a relative period of peace, close observers of the Lake Chad basin thought there was always the danger of a resurgence.
Cycles of Violence
To comprehend why you want to examine the roots of Boko Haram itself.
The team appeared in the early 2000s at Maiduguri, in Borno State. “Boko Haram” is a nickname — their official title translates into”People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Educating and Jihad.”
However, the nickname is apt — it means”education” or”western education” is prohibited and the team’s origins could be explained, in part, by their own rigorous Salafist interpretation of Islam.
For many decades Boko Haram grew comparatively peacefully — drawing fans angered by the perceived danger of western education and morals stemming from the national government and seeping from Nigeria’s southwest (which is mostly Christian). They also tapped into popular pity in elevated levels of corruption and ineptitude in the country.
But it’s not possible to attribute just one aspect to Boko Haram’s rise.
Some assert that the terror group’s advancement to its present violent form could be traced back to some substantial security operation contrary to its associates in 2009. That assignment contributed to its creator Mohammed Yusuf’s killing and capture.
Only last week, the international criminal court in the Hague detained both the terror team and the Nigerian security forces of possible offenses against humanity.
A shocking 10,000 individuals, most of these children, have died in detention throughout the battle, according to a report by Amnesty International published in May.
From the Africa context, this particular cycle of violence involving the country or traditional militaries and extremist insurgencies have been performed at the Lake Chad area, the Sahel, Somalia as well as at a current troubling inclusion, Northern Mozambique.
Guns will not fix it
It is debatable whether Boko Haram ever enjoyed broad popular support in certain areas. However, their latest action has eroded what service they did have and contributed to people’s anger.
Before this month, a group of militants on bikes killed over 100 women and men near Maiduguri. They were a part of a farming community.
Based on Mohammed Awwal, a part of a neighborhood vigilante group, the strikes were reprisals since the neighborhood refused to provide Boko Haram their meals, a mafia-style arrangement which had formerly kept them secure.
Nevertheless, you describe their roots, Boko Haram has been an insurgent group that preys on civilians, a parasite, actually: carrying food; girls and women as slaves or wives; kidnapping boys into ransom, swap for offenders, or place in the field of struggle.
But despite assurances from the authorities, the army and police are not always seen better by several Nigerians. The current #ENDSars protests are an offshoot of the anger.
Finally, there’s broad consensus that firearms alone will not extinguish the danger of Boko Haram to get great.
To accomplish this, there has to be a wholesale shift in a plan that broadens the attention of building community confidence and chances. A focus on reconciliation, not violence. And for politicians courageous enough to take action.